Same-sex marriage in Nunavut

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Legal status of same-sex unions
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Same-sex marriage is legal in Nunavut. The territory began granting marriage licences to same-sex couples upon the passage of the federal Civil Marriage Act on July 20, 2005.[1] Previously, beginning in October 2003, same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions were legally recognized in Nunavut.

Premier Paul Okalik's statement[edit]

On 30 October 2003, Premier Paul Okalik made the following statement:[1]

"If developments in the Parliament of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada result in the definition of marriage being broadened, we will respect the law and comply with that. In the meantime, anyone in Nunavut who has been legally married anywhere will be recognized by the Government of Nunavut as married."

He further suggested that the territory would perform same-sex divorces should the issue arise.

Premier Okalik succeeded in passing a territorial human rights code banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As well, Nancy Karetak-Lindell, Liberal MP for the riding of Nunavut, was re-elected in the 2006 election after having supported same-sex marriage.[1]

During the March 2004 general election, one of Premier Okalik's main opponents ran on the basis that he would repeal the territory's human rights legislation on sexual orientation, and would not recognize same-sex marriages.

Territorial legislation[edit]

In October 2011, the Marriage Act was amended by replacing the words "husband and wife" with "spouses". The Adoption Act was also amended by changing the definition of spouse to include same-sex couples, thus allowing them to adopt children jointly.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Nunavut will recognize same-sex marriages". Equal Marriage for Same-Sex Couples. 7 November 2003. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "AN ACT TO AMEND SEVERAL ACTS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL VALIDITY (SPOUSAL BENEFITS AND OBLIGATIONS)" (PDF). Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. 23 October 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 August 2016. 

External links[edit]